Newsletter - Winter 2021

Financials. The city is finalizing our 2020 statement. The end-of-year bottom line will be  $700,000+ in cash with no debt outstanding. Expenses last year were approximately  $80,000 under budget; revenue will exceed expenses by about $62,000. The final  statement will be posted on the city website. Beginning in January, monthly expenses  paid will also be on our website.  


Council President. At the January meeting councilwoman Lauren Aleshire was elected  council president, a position mandated by the city code. The council president presides at all meetings in the mayor’s absence. If a vacancy would occur in the office of the  mayor, the president, for the time being, would exercise the office of mayor. 


Architectural Review Board. According to city code, the ARB is appointed annually at  the January council meeting. These residents will comprise the 2021 ARB: 

  • Ryan Bowden, Chairman 
  • Sara Chaffee 
  • Tara Light 
  • Erin Lowery  
  • Janet McCarter 


Thank you to Mary Hunkeler and Terry Cooper for their service on the ARB.  The new members, Tara and Sara, bring experience in commercial design and  architecture --beneficial to the ARB process.  


Complete Streets/Bike Lane on Rainbow. Council President Aleshire is working with the  bike advocacy group BikeWalkKC and the City of Westwood to explore ways to improve  safety for bikers and walkers on Rainbow Blvd. Mission Woods, Westwood, Westwood  Hills and Kansas City, KS city governments would need to collaborate to make this  happen. As a first step in this process, it is likely each city will be asked to ‘express  intent’ to the Kansas Dept of Transportation, through a petition or formal letter from  each individual municipality. Lauren will provide updates on the process. 


Connected Community Sidewalks Project. A petition of residents in 2019 supported  construction of new sidewalks north of SM Parkway from Rainbow east to State Line  and north on State Line to 50th Terrace (see map). Councilwoman Selina Zapata-Bur and  I began working on this in September to determine support among stakeholders and  research funding available for construction. The project is named Connected Community  Sidewalks. To date we have met with:


1. Steve Karbank, Chairman, Karbank Real Estate 

2. Pembroke Hill representative 

3. KU Medical Center representatives 

4. The 1968 Building ownership 

5. Kansas Department of Transportation 

6. Becky Fast, Johnson County Commissioner, District 1 

7. Kent Lage, Manager, Johnson County Assistance Road System (CARS) 


 All parties have been supportive of the project to date. The city is eligible to apply for   reimbursement of 50% of construction costs through CARS. We are currently   pursuing additional funding sources and communicating with the project stakeholders.  No expenses have been incurred other than the time Selina and I have put into   research and meetings. The new sidewalks would promote walkability, increase safety   and improve sustainability in our city. 


Shawnee Mission School District General Obligation Bonds. All residents that are  registered voters, should have received a mail-in ballot for the school district bond  election. If passed, construction would begin this year on a new Westwood View  Elementary school at the former site of the Entercom radio station at 50th and Belinder.  The new school would be another attractive feature of our city and NE Johnson County.  Please vote and make sure your ballot is returned to the Election Office by 12:00 noon  January 26th


COVID. Until vaccinations are widespread and positivity rates are down, Mission Woods  will follow Governor Kelly’s Executive Order and the Johnson County Board of Public  Health Order on mask usage. For your health and that of your neighbor and the greater  community, please comply.  


 Darrell Franklin